Adventure Time: The Complete Season One
Since this series began on the American Cartoon Network channel, Adventure Time has gone on to become one of the most loved animation series of the decade. The series has built a devoted following amongst both children and adults, and has won a number of awards including a children’s BAFTA. Finally, and just in time for Christmas, the UK has received the DVD release of the comic adventures of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human.
Our heroes live in the post-apocalyptic and magical Land of Ooo, home to many races and creatures of all shapes and sizes. Jake (John DiMaggio – Bender from Futurama) is a viola-playing dog of magical powers, allowing him to manipulate the shape of his body at will. 12-year-old human boy Finn (Jeremy Shada) is his best friend and adoptive brother, with the two living together in a giant “Tree Fort”. Finn has an overwhelming desire for justice, helping out anyone in trouble.
The series follows the duo meeting the residents of Ooo and the various kingdoms within it. These include visits to the Candy Kingdom to help the scientifically minded ruler Princess Bubblegum (Hynden Walch); defeating the dastardly schemes of the Ice King (Tom Kenny – the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) who keeps kidnapping princesses in order to marry them; and contemplating the strange and tricky behaviour of Marceline the Vampire Queen (Olivia Olson – Love Actually).
There are many things that give Adventure Time its appeal. For starters there are the characters which make it so entertaining, with the relationship between Jake and Finn at the centre of the story. As the series has progressed, the relationship develops too, and indeed Finn is getting older unlike most cartoon characters. When the series began in 2010 he was 12, but know he is now 15 in 2013. What will happen to him when he becomes an adult is anyone’s guess.
The humour is also wonderful. Firstly you have the somewhat surreal ideas they are created. For example one of the stories sees the pair free some businessmen frozen in an iceberg who they hire to make their adventuring more efficient. Another sees Jake’s imagination going out of control and starting to make impossible things real, meaning he and Finn must battle with Jake’s overdeveloped creativity. A different tale sees Finn being attacked by a monster with only an approximate knowledge of many things (he knows he is hiding behind a rock – he just doesn’t know which one).
The comedy is also rather subversive. This is what gives the show its adult appeal. While it would be tempting to make just a silly show for kids, the ideas that appear in Adventure Time appeal to people across the board. Where else can you expect people to be attacked by whywolves?
Adventure Time is a wonderful series that by rights should have a broader audience. It’s a fun show, and while there are plenty of things on telly that are comic, fun itself tends to be lacking. If there is a downside, it would be that this DVD release is lacking in extras. Also, once you finish watching the last episode on a disc it is best to take the disc out of the DVD player straight away; otherwise you will find yourself skipping around 20 anti-piracy warnings in different European languages.
Adventure Time: The Complete Season One is released on DVD by Warner Home Video.